Riding the Wave: The Beach Boys haven’t stopped making music

By Madison Perales

The Beach Boys’ Mike Love played a couple drive-in shows during the pandemic, but nothing comes close to hitting a proper stage.

The band will perform at the Del E. Webb Center for the Performing Arts on Sunday, November 14, as part of its 29-date “Feel Flows World Tour.”

“We are so happy to be able to get back out and do concerts,” Love says. “Live music with real people is great because we were unable to for a year and a half or two.”

Like everyone around the world, the pandemic had an adverse effect on The Beach Boys, who were forced to cancel their tour.

“We had the biggest tour of our career lined up, then COVID-19 hit, and it all went away,” Love says.

But that didn’t stop them from making music. “We were able to do a song called ‘This Too Shall Pass,’” Love says.

Even though the members were unable to meet in-person, they recorded their parts with microphones, computers and phones and sent their recordings to actor/drummer John Stamos, who created the video.

“I wanted to say something positive to look forward to,” Love says. “We’re actually performing it every night in our concert. We do the encore, then we finish up with our classic ‘fun, fun, fun.’”

COVID-19 is lingering, but Love isn’t too concerned about touring during the pandemic. “I was vaccinated months and months ago so that’s no problem,” Love says.

The Beach Boys started the “Feel Flows World Tour” in May. These past five months created noteworthy moments for Love, like when the audience reacts to the hit “Kokomo.”

“We have several big sing-alongs like ‘Help Me Rhonda’ and ‘California Girls,’” Love says. “But ‘Kokomo’ is by far the biggest sing-along, and to me, that’s the most special part of the concert.”

The band kicked off the tour on May 29 in San Diego, where it spiced up the show with special guests John Stamos and Mark McGrath of Super Ray.

“I just think it’s special for John and Mark to show up because it’s unexpected and it gives us a whole other element of surprise,” Love says. “They’re both so engaging and add so much positive energy to our performances.”

McGrath will also appear on the Beach Boys cruise from Miami to Nassau, Bahamas, in March.

“We have the Temptations, the Monkees, and a Beatles tribute band called A Hard Day’s Night,” Love says. “It’s going to be nonstop music on that cruise.”

The Beach Boys was formed in 1961. Love says The Beach Boys were founded on lyrics about romance, California girls and the beach life.

“That still exists in little pockets in Southern California,” Love says.

While the lyrics from some of their hits still resonate with listeners, the touring environment has changed a lot since the ’60s.

“COVID-19 doesn’t have that much of an effect on the audience response,” Love says. “But technically, the performances are better these days because the sound is better, the production is better, and the venues are great.”

As for the Wickenburg show, fans can expect nostalgic songs from the ’60s. “Expect all the hit singles you can associate with the Beach Boys catalog and some songs that are more so perhaps,” Love says.

The setlist includes “God Only Knows,” which was sung by Carl Wilson, who died in 1998 from lung cancer. Love’s son, Christian, takes over vocal duties.

“He does a beautiful job on that song,” Love says. “It’s almost as if it was written for him.”

A tribute to George Harrison, “Pisces Brothers” is also featured. Love and Harrison’s birthdays are in February and March. He references Hari Krishna, meditation, “Here Comes the Sun” and other subjects that Love holds dearly to his heart when he thinks of Harrison.

“It’s a very sentimental song because George passed away and when he died, I was feeling pretty sad about it,” Love says. “I did the song as a combination of things that George really loved and things we both appreciated.”

“That song (‘Pisces Brothers’) wasn’t a hit but it’s very sentimental and a really nice moment in the show.” 


More Info

What: The Beach Boys

When: 7:30 p.m. Sunday, November 14

Where: 1090 S. Vulture Mine Road, Wickenburg

Cost: $150

Info: dewpac.org